Religious Champions of Discrimination

rights can't wait

America’s religious leaders, some of the most esteemed and respectable citizens in our republic, are helping us understand that our precious freedoms — the ones our brave soldiers fight and die for in faraway dust bowls most of us can’t find on a map — are once again under attack. This time the perpetrator isn’t a hairy Muslim in pajamas or an angry white guy with an automatic weapon and the phrase “2nd Amendment is 1st in My Heart” tattooed on his shoulder. This time it’s the White House.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order this week that barred anyone doing business with the United States government from discriminating against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or transgendered Americans. The upshot: if you want to hang onto your tax exemptions, government contracts and subsidies, you must hire the ungodly and unworthy, the sodomites and Sapphos and freaks.

Now, this . . . → Read More: Religious Champions of Discrimination

Poem: Too Many Books

too many books

Too many books

Not enough readers

Too many poems

Not enough heeders

 

You say you want answers

You say want leaders

You pray for salvation

At the Church of St. Peter

 

Ask for forgiveness

Ask and repent

Ask for an ending

To ongoing Lent

 

Something like calm

Something like grace

Something to cure

The whole human race

 

The whisper of magic

We desperately seek

Ready to welcome

The strong and the meek

 

Find it on paper

Find it on air

Find it forever

Right now and right here

Too many poems

Too many books

Too many lost souls

Don’t know where to look

 

 

. . . → Read More: Poem: Too Many Books

Poem: Absolution

asking for absolution

Forgive me

Wash it all away

The sins and unpleasantries that have soiled my otherwise pristine existence.

Rid them. Scour and scald if you must. Scrub.

Make magnificently clean the miasma of my missteps.

Heal. Mend.

But mostly clean.

Absolve.

Purify – and not in the mendacious greed-modeled sense of “purified,” as in

Water from a dirty distant place, now a drink suitable for your refined palate.

Purify with light and air. Let the freshness flow like tears

No longer dammed.

 

The ask is the task we have now unmasked.

Caskets and coffins and cantilevered cornucopias conspire to conceal,

But better billows of spirit steam, soapy and serene

Vindicate vivacity lurking in vitrines

And antler horns and manors born and all the Andean

Quinoa in China.

 

And now we wait. Refreshed

For now.

. . . → Read More: Poem: Absolution

Poem: Seeing Things

randomness explained physically

this peculiar ability to discern patterns amid

chaos is the natural state of the universe or

so we say when perfection exceeds our vision of

what is possible and what is beyond mere possibility

veering into realms explored in sweaty paperbacks and sterile laboratories

where the where of who we are

in the vastness is the main and only concern for

one gets lost without an anchor to hold him

safe and far

safe and near

but always somehow safe

we say we see

how it’s all arranged

Poem: Poet Philosopher

alan-ginsberg-poet-philosopher-carole-spandau

Let this be my manifesto

to be tacked upon cathedrals and posted on digital walls

where everyone in the world goes to look

at what isn’t happening to them. It has thusly been decreed

that He is I and I is He – another way to say

that I is We, and He and You and all that ever was.

It’s all in here.

 

The decision has been made – by who or whom or what, no one can say.

Royalty or slave, predator or prey, your divine purpose

is to be of service to God, God being Nature and living creatures and

everything that’s here and everything that isn’t.

Your brothers and sisters, the ones who aren’t born yet, the ones whose shells

you might one lifetime inhabit – everyone is qualified, despite what merchants in the religion trade

claim. . . . → Read More: Poem: Poet Philosopher

Endorsement: Cardinal Roger Mahony for Pope!

cardinal roger mahony executes the sacred whitewash ritual

The race is on! Now that everyone’s beloved Uncle Joe Ratzinger, also known as “Benedict,” has stepped aside, leaving the Papacy for a comfortable dotage on Vatican property, where he shall remain blissfully shielded from criminal prosecution for the rest of his days, someone (male) will wield the sceptre and wear the mitre!

Who will win the title “Most Powerful Catholic on Earth”?

We can’t say. All we know is that it will be someone who thinks the best way to raise poor people out of poverty is to deny them birth control.

Unfortunately, we’re not eligible to vote. For that you have to be a Cardinal under the age of 80. We qualify on only one count. But we do have a rooting interest, a hometown interest you might say. Our man from Los Angeles is eligible and he should be the next Pope of the . . . → Read More: Endorsement: Cardinal Roger Mahony for Pope!

A Modest Proposal For Solving Our Gun Violence Problem

a properly armed child

Guns are not the problem. People are not the problem. Young people are the problem.

They don’t listen. They play awful video game simulations of mass murder. They shoot six-year-olds.

And no amount of background checks or ammo-clip restrictions will change that. There’s only one way to solve the gun situation, one way to bring peace and civility back to our public areas while also not trampling on our inalienable American right to bear arms (as outlined with great clarity in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America).

The maintenance of civil order in our fragile society rests on a rock solid foundation of family discipline. A child who disrespects his parents must be removed from society. Permanently. So that other children will see the importance of respecting their parents.

The only political solution left to the fundamental problems in our society . . . → Read More: A Modest Proposal For Solving Our Gun Violence Problem

Very Short Books

Very small books worth reading

Books are far too long, right? Who has time for 300-pages of blabbering on about nothing? Do you know how many tweets you can read in the amount of time it takes to slog through one stupid novel?

A lot. And they’re usually way funnier. And unlike books they’ve got hashtags, like #betterthanactuallyreading.

Still, in their own weird way books can still be useful. Especially if they’re short. Especially if they’re short and they answer some niggling question you’ve been having, a question maybe you couldn’t answer to your satisfaction just by searching the Web.

We’ve published several of the old-fashioned boring kind of books. No one is interested in that. So now we’re pledging to get with the times and start publishing modern fun kind of books. Very short books. You don’t have to download them, or pay for them or anything. You can just read . . . → Read More: Very Short Books

Picking Sides from the Pulpit

Pulpit Perspective

We attended a Bat Mitzvah the weekend before the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was announced in Gaza. The service was held at a reform Jewish temple, a thoroughly modern place of worship where men and women are permitted to sit together, where the cantor accompanies himself on a djembe drum.

The ceremony was part celebration and part reflection, with much singing and much English. The Bat Mitzvah girl was showered with encouragement and kindness from a loving audience. It was an altogether uplifting experience — except for one thing.

During the sermon portion, the Rabbi delivered a commentary on the then-developing situation in Gaza. A partial transcript:

O God, who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this day. Bless our brothers and sisters in the state of Israel. Protect them from all trouble and anxiety. May you . . . → Read More: Picking Sides from the Pulpit

Climate Change, Clean Coal, and Dirty Propaganda

Coal Cares for your asthmatic child

In the days preceding the storm of the century, two candidates running for President of the United States strenuously assured voters that they would pump more crude, frack more natural gas, and burn more coal than the other guy. Whether or not an energy policy built on a fossil-fuel paradigm could or could not be sustained wasn’t discussed, at least by Messrs. Obama and Romney, who proudly reiterated their fealty to the oil and mining companies that sign the checks. Virtually every other candidate for President –the ones who weren’t members of the Democratic or Republican crime syndicates, such as Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party — characterized our looming environmental disaster as the biggest threat facing America, not terrorism or the national debt, as the Military-Industrial complex would like us to believe.

To . . . → Read More: Climate Change, Clean Coal, and Dirty Propaganda